Ever get inspired to work on a project, only to realize halfway through that you don’t actually have the right tools to finish the job? You’re definitely not alone. Besides, how can you know what you’ll need until you actually need it (and ultimately realize you don’t have it)?
You don’t have to be a master craftsman or an avid DIY-er to suddenly have need for some basic tools.
Screwdrivers are invaluable tools to own. It’s a good idea to invest in a good-quality mixed set that includes a variety of both flat head and Philips head sizes.
Besides screwdrivers, a hammer is always going to come in hand with everything from hanging picture frames to fixing a loose chair leg.
A ruler can only fulfill a small portion of your measuring needs, especially if it comes to measuring walls or large pieces of furniture. Remember the adage: measure twice, cut once.
Utility knives are a jack-of-all-trades tool and are usual for everything from opening boxes to scoring drywall, cutting paint around windows, and cutting away carpet edges.
Pliers help hold objects firmly and are useful at pulling, pinching, and bending metal. Different sized pliers have their benefits—needle-nose pliers, for instance, are handy when working in tight spaces (or fixing jewelry).
It’s never a bad idea to keep a variety of tape on hand for various projects. Duct tape is certainly a staple, but it doesn’t hurt to keep both plumbers and electrical tape around the house, too, to either prevent leaks or insulate electrical projects.
While smartphone camera flashlights certainly work, nothing will serve you better during a power outage (or bump-in-the-night investigations) than a powerful LED flashlight. While generally they don’t rely on wall outlet charging, more likely than not they do require batteries, so stock those accordingly.
An adjustable crescent wedge is an easy tool to use for loosening or tightening nuts and bolts. It’s always a good idea to have a few adjustable wrenches in different sizes.
Whether you’re installing new countertops or hanging a picture frame, levelness is key, especially when even the slightest deviation can throw everything else off kilter.
Investing in some rugged, well-insulated indoor/outdoor power cords will help extend the reach of your corded power tools, are suitable for yard work, and might even be beneficial when it comes to outdoor decorations, such as Christmas lights.
A cordless power drill will go far for a variety of jobs. Your drill is only limited by its bits; investing in a good set of drill bits will allow you to use your drill on indoor and outdoor projects such as boring holes through wood and drilling screws into metal.
A portable air compressor/inflator will power pneumatic tools as well as help with drain cleaning, tire inflating, caulking, and more.
Whether you want to paint your ceiling, change lightbulbs, or clean your gutters, chances are you’re going to need some added height. Ladders and step stools come in a range of sizes depending on your needs.
Before you start any kind of DIY project, make sure you have the proper tools for you. Dust masks are essential when sanding or sawing; safety glasses/goggles are vital for eye protection; work gloves will protect your hands when working with building materials and heavy tools.
Having the right tools is only useful if you can find them when you need them—if you don’t have the space or desire to keep your tools hanging on the wall, it’s easy to keep everything organized and in one location with a tool box or a tool bag.
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.